ABU DHABI — Etihad Airways is introducing a series of changes designed to offer increased value and flexibility, including a new ‘Neighbor-Free Seat’ paid option in Economy Class.
Etihad says the changes are based on customer feedback. The airline is also offering Premium Lounge access as a paid option for Economy Class, and Business Class paid upgrades for First Class Lounge and Spa access.
With the new ‘Neighbor-Free Seat’ option in Economy Class, passengers can ‘bid’ for up to three empty seats next to their original seat, subject to availability and cabin configuration.
“This gives guests the opportunity for increased space, comfort and privacy, at a price that is affordable,” says the airline. Successful bids will be confirmed 30 hours prior to departure.
Starting July 3 Etihad will also put in place a new car service policy, where Business and First Class passengers will have to opt in for chauffeur services as a paid add-on at all international destinations. Economy Class guests can pay for Etihad Chauffeur services as well. Etihad will continue to offer complimentary chauffeur services in Abu Dhabi for all eligible Business and First Class guests. First and Business Class tickets issued prior to July 3 will not be affected by these changes and will receive complimentary chauffeur service across destinations where the service is currently offered.
Guests travelling in The Residence onboard the flagship Airbus A380 fleet will continue to receive complimentary chauffeur services at all A380 destinations – Abu Dhabi, London, Paris, Sydney and New York.
“Etihad Airways is constantly looking at ways to improve its value proposition for guests, focusing on the service elements that are most important to them,” says Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial for Etihad Airways. “This change is being put in place as the airline looks to evolve its product proposition while continuing to match individual customer requirements. Following a review, the chauffeur services we offer will be amended globally, with the exception of Abu Dhabi, where there are a high number of users of the service.
He noted that many customers prefer to make their own ground transportation arrangements. “The decision by Etihad Airways to change its offering has been taken to provide increased choice and to ensure fares remain as low and as competitive as possible, while retaining best-in-class service for all guests, in all cabins,” he said.
For lounge access, Etihad’s Economy Class guests can now secure paid access to its growing portfolio of dedicated lounges around the world, including its Premium Lounges in Abu Dhabi, London, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, Washington D.C., New York JFK, Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles.
“On the ground, premium class guests can enjoy free access to Etihad Airways’ collection of outstanding lounges,” said Al Bulooki. “By offering paid access to Economy Class guests, these signature lounges can now be enjoyed by all who desire to experience our award-winning facilities.”
Guests travelling on Etihad Airways Business Class tickets can now also pay and upgrade to the airline’s flagship First Class Lounge & Spa when flying from, or transiting through Abu Dhabi.
More information on the new chauffeur service changes, neighbor-free seats and lounge access policy is available at etihad.com.